The Differences between Coaching, Consulting, Counseling and Psychotherapy

When you are looking for help with an issue, you may be confused about what services to seek. Here is a general explanation of the services that can be useful to you. The most recently developed of the helping services is coaching. It is such a new service that there are no minimum requirements for providers and no licensing laws developed. Anyone can call themselves a coach.The letters after a coach’s name have no legal definition and may vary depending on the programs he/she has attended. It may be more beneficial to find a licensed mental health professional who is also trained in coaching when you are searching for a coach.The process of coaching can be very useful and it is a service that has no stigma attached. Coaching is about setting and achieving goals with the assistance of a person who asks you helpful and focused questions. Your coach’s emphasis is on your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges related to the goals you have set.

coaching, consulting, counseling or psychotherapy

What service is right for me?

Consulting is the service you seek to answer a specific problem using the expert knowledge of a professional. A consultant has specialized knowledge and expertise on the process or the problem that is of interest to you. Often a consultation will be a short term engagement on one specific topic. Consultants work with individuals, families, groups and organizations. Occasionally teaching or training will be part of the engagement.

Counseling is the process that focuses on the relief of distress. Your counselor should be someone with whom you can build trust and openness.You and your counselor will work together to help you cope, adapt and build skills to reduce distress.Together you and your counselor may look at patterns in your life to help you come to a greater understanding of yourself and build newer more adaptive methods of coping. The relationship will be most helpful if your counselor is warm, accepting and authentic.

Psychotherapy is a deeper and longer process than counseling. Clients who pursue psychotherapy want to make deep and significant changes in themselves. Depth psychotherapy means uncovering early history;becoming conscious of all parts of the self; improving self-awareness and self-expression; and sharing dreams, daydreams, metaphors,narrative stories, bodily sensations, intuitions and the experience of yourself in relationship with your therapist whenever possible.

It is helpful if you can articulate the kind of work that you want to do when you are seeking services. I work in all four of these areas and sometimes combine or change back and forth between services when it seems appropriate. The more you can describe or specify what you need, the better I will be able to provide the services that are a fit for you. Please feel free to contact me. to arrange coaching, consulting, counseling or therapy services